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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Pac-12: Stage set for Stanford-UCLA rematch

Nearly every forecast of the Pac-12 football season called for a rematch of a November contest in the conference championship game.

It’s just that everybody thought it would be Oregon vs. USC, not Stanford vs. UCLA.

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That’s exactly what will happen, if Stanford beats the Bruins on the road Saturday. The teams would meet again Nov. 30 at Stanford with a Rose Bowl berth at stake.

That’s the fallout of Saturday’s upsets, UCLA’s 38-28 win over USC and Stanford’s 17-14 overtime defeat of Oregon.

The effect in the AP Top 25 is illustrated in this week’s rankings: Oregon No. 5, Stanford No. 11, UCLA No. 15 and Oregon State No. 16. USC fell out of the rankings.

UCLA has clinched the Pac-12 South title; Stanford needs another victory to claim the North crown, assuming Oregon wins at Oregon State. In that case, the Cardinal would host the championship game, based on a better conference record than UCLA.

If Oregon wins and Stanford loses, the Ducks would host UCLA. But if there’s a three-way tie for the North title (involving OSU), Stanford would advance to the title game – at UCLA, because that would mean the Bruins beat Stanford in the regular season.

Got all that?

The bottom line is that everything is in place for the strangest possible scenario in the Pac-12 title game: a rematch six days later, with Oregon and USC nowhere to be found.

The situation brings UCLA’s motivation for Saturday’s game into some degree of question, although the Bruins know that a sequence of events could enable them to host the title game.

Meanwhile, Arizona State (6-5) became the Pac-12’s eighth bowl-eligible team with a rout of Washington State. Utah (4-7) is not mathematically eliminated, even after its 34-24 loss to Arizona, because of a new provision that allows bowls to select 5-7 teams if absolutely necessary. But besides beating Colorado on Friday, the Utes would need a bunch of five-win teams to lose next weekend.</

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Wildcats prepare for game at No. 2 Oregon
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Strong season will help "Hill Mary" be remembered
» UA football: Pair of defensive players leave team
» UA football: My AP Top 25 ballot

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Q&A with ASU quarterback Mike Bercovici
» Rankings: Colleges by AZ high school players
» ASU's Taylor Kelly "pretty questionable" for USC
» Norvell: Timeouts not factor in key turnover

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal's Oct. 11 home game vs. Washington set for 3 p.m. kickoff
» Cal outlasts Colorado 59-56 in two overtimes
» Cal will change athletes' admission standards
» Matchup: Cal vs. Colorado

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Speedy freshman Donovan Lee gives CU Buffs another playmaker
» Colorado coached to avoid coin-toss glitches, MacIntyre says
» Colorado's MacIntyre gratified Buffs practiced hard Monday
» CU Buffs tackle Jeromy Irwin might play vs. Hawaii after concussion

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» Getting quarterback Marcus Mariota moving keeps Oregon Ducks' offense humming
» Charles Nelson might be creeping into the Oregon Ducks' defense
» Cameron Scarlett discusses Washington Huskies visit, lingering hamstring issues

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State roundup (Sept. 19)
» OSU men's basketball: Tinkle says positive steps being made
» Spencer to become new AD at Evansville
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford beats Washington with fourth-quarter touchdown
» Matchup: No. 16 Stanford at Washington
» Stanford facing must-win game at Washington's noisy Husky Stadium
» San Jose family has deep roots in college football

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Seahawks silent, but fans find plenty to cheer
» Are Pac-12 quarterbacks conference's best class ever?
» Washington State men sit 3rd in home golf meet
» Chris Petersen on Huskies' offensive struggles: ‘We can coach them better'

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Monday press conference: Mike Leach
» Goodbye to the region's Boys of Summer
» What is a 'Bear Raid' anyway?
» Sunday practice and the sack that wasn't



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